NTSB Releases Preliminary Report Of LifeFlight Helicopter Crash
Posted October 24, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT
DURHAM — A preliminary report into thedeadly crashof a Duke LifeFlight helicopter is out.
Records show LifeFlight Two's main transmission was installed after an overhaul on October 13, three days before the crash.
Pilot John Holland died when LifeFlight Two crashed shortly after leavingAlamance Regional Medical Center. A mechanic had inspected the helicopter at the hospital because the oil pressure light kept coming on.
After finding no leaking oil and a test hover, the pilot took off to return to Duke. LifeFlight Two went down about a minute later.
According to theNational Transportation Safety Board(NTSB) report, the mechanic disconnected the wire from the transmission oil pressure switch because of past problems with that switch. The mechanic also stated he did not reconnect the switch prior to taking off.
At the crash site, NTSB investigators noted that "the gearbox had damage, and the transmission oil pump drive shaft was separated."
WRAL contacted Corporate Jets, Incorporated, who operated LifeFlight Two. It said that it had not received the initial report from the NTSB.
A final report on the crash is not expected for several months.